ANdesign at Imaginology: Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead

This past weekend, ANDesign attended the 36th annual Imaginology event. We got to share the field of industrial design with youngsters from all around Southern California.

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In case you haven’t heard, the S.T.E.A.M movement is the creative’s answer to the traditional S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. S.T.E.A.M education contends including Arts into the curriculum promotes innovation and originality.

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Because of our industrial design background, we wanted to show kids how we develop consumer goods – from hand drawn sketches to prototypes and final production models. We brought our Makerbot 3D Printers to demonstrate how we test prototype models and print out stencils for the kids. We also brought a portfolio with sketches of concepts to illustrate the artsy and creative side of industrial design. Our very own Felix even gave short lessons on how to draw.

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Our booth explained how all aspects of the STEAM movement are incorporated within the field of industrial design. Our research and development phase parallels the scientific method. After making a prototype, it must undergo extensive testing and reiterations to refine the idea. We employ the use of cutting-edge technology like 3D printers and computer numerical control (CNC) mills to develop prototypes. Where design answers what the product will look like, engineering solves how the product will work. What separates industrial design from other STEM fields is incorporates art and creativity to create beautiful products. Designers must consider shaping the exterior for ergonomics, color schemes to make it attractive and even analyzing the fine details such as where a hinge or button should be placed. Of course, we need math to accurately measure the fine details of a project.

The Fairgrounds were loaded with DIY activities and odd contraptions. Attendees of all ages were encouraged to build their own forts, mechanisms and devices for fun. Each activity encouraged kids to explore and discover how STEAM education could apply in the real world.

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What would a fair be without the odd ones? These avid steampunkers strutted their eccentric devices through the fairgrounds, capturing the gaze of little kids and adults alike.
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